NHL Picks of the Day: Increase Friday's Profits with These Top Plays

Nikki Adams

Friday, May 1, 2015 10:44 AM GMT

The second round of the NHL Playoffs is underway,  marking the respective Conference Semi-final clashes. Join us as we preview Friday's NHL betting card and serve up our NHL picks.

Lightning +1.5, +115 vs. Canadiens -1.5, -135
NHL Betting Verdict:
 Tampa Bay Lightning advance into the second round in dramatic fashion, a game 7 showdown with the Detroit Red Wings, who, arguably, punched above their perceived weight class. The Lightning were on their heels as the series oscillated back and forth as both sides traded wins in the first five games. Going into game 5, the Lightning were down 3-2 and starring down the barrel of elimination before reeling off back-to-back wins to clinch the series in game 7 with a 2-0 win.

Montreal Canadiens enter the second round of the NHL Playoffs after clinching the series over the Ottawa Senators in game 6 with a 2-0 win. The Canadiens were made to work hard in the first round, twice needing overtime to stave off the Senators. In game 4, when they were up 3-0, the Canadiens failed to sweep the series in a 1-0 loss in Ottawa. Game 5 saw the Canadiens suffer their worst defeat, a 5-1 loss at home to the Senators. Finally, in game 6, the Canadiens finished the job behind a 2-0 win in Ottawa.

In the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning owned the Canadiens. So dialled into them were they that they not only won all five meetings, but also routed the Canadiens 21-8 combined. The opening meeting of the season was a lopsided 7-1 affair. Four of the five games were decided by two goals or more, save for a 1-0 overtime win by Tampa at Montreal.

Consider the regular season account, the Canadiens are faced with an nigh impossible task in the Eastern Conference semi-finals it would seem. So it's a bit surprising they enter this matchup as the favourites at -135 to win outright.

To be fair, the regular season and postseason are mutually exclusive. You could go so far as to say that the postseason is an entirely different game. Still, the Lightning have a decided edge over the Canadiens this season, which should send them into this series with confidence. As such, they emerge as our choice NHL pick to mastermind the upset according to the NHL betting odds. Take the Lightning at +115 to win outright and at +1.5 on the puck line.  

NHL Picks: Lightning +115 and +1.5 at The Greek

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Wild +1.5, +120 vs. Blackhawks -1.5, -140
NHL Betting Verdict: 
Chicago Blackhawks have a tendency to round out into form in the postseason. The most successful franchise in the NHL this side of the decade, the Chicago Blackhawks as a result are a popular NHL pick to win it all in futures betting markets.

The Blackhawks open their Western Conference semi-final bid against the Minnesota Wild on Friday night, as the clear-cut home faves at -140 to win outright and as the 1.5-point favourites on the puck line.  Nobody that has followed the Chicago Blackhawks avidly is going to be surprised by this NHL betting market outlook.

The Blackhawks clinched their first round series with the Nashville Predators in game 6, without losing a single home game. In the regular season, they took the series with the Wild 3-2, which includes a 2-1 mark at home.  They did lose the last two games of the series, but where they are concerned it's a moot point. When it comes to the postseason, the Blackhawks just know how to raise the level of their game.

This doesn't mean NHL bettors should overlook the Minnesota Wild per say. This side has turned some heads in the NHL playoffs and deserves some consideration. They clinched the series with the St. Louis Blues in game 6, behind a two-game winning streak both home and away. Dubnyk was arguably at his best in the last two games, allowing just one goal per game. That said, they're going to have their work cut out for them in the windy city on Friday night. They are matched as the underdogs at +120 underdogs to win outright, making a road win to kick off the series an event that would send seismic shockwaves through NHL betting circles.

Whichever way you slice this series, it should be more competitive than the odds makers would have it. More likely than not, the Blackhawks will get off to a winning start, which makes them our choice NHL pick. That said, it wouldn't be entirely shocking if the Wild upset the NHL odds

NHL Picks: Blackhawks -140 and -1.5 at Bovada

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